Pink Shirt policy

With pink shirt day on Friday, we’re reminded of the harms of bullying. We must be proactive and respond when bullying occurs in the workplace, at school or another area of life.

Everyone needs a bullying policy…

To help set some ground rules for safety and conduct, every organisation should have a harassment and bullying policy.  Here’s what we think are some essentials for a bullying policy:

  • the intent of the policy should be clearly stated eg wellbeing at work, that bullying is not tolerated, bullying complaints are dealt with fairly, protection of rights.
  • bullying is defined to include conduct that is intimidating and unwelcome. Important here is that bullying can be intentional or unintentional. Conduct may be through texting, emails, social media etc.
  • the steps that can be taken if and when bullying occurs must be spelt out. A complainant’s wishes and their right to safety should be central. Due process for a respondent must also be observed. In some situations, there may be opportunity for complaint through an external body eg Human Rights Commission or Netsafe. These avenues should be included in your policy.
  • prevention strategies and the obligation to build a culture of respect and tolerance should be also be covered. This is the proactive part. It’s what everyone must take ownership of in the workplace.

A bullying policy must apply across the organisation - to governance, management, staff and volunteers. The policy should require the organisation’s leaders and governors to champion a culture of respect and tolerance, ensure a fair and timely follow up on complaints and to model that bullying, under any pretence (eg stress, anxiety, fun) is not ok.

We can help!

Bullying and harassment is covered in our core set of policies at the Policy Place.  Join up to our online service so all of your staff can access the latest in policy development. Online access is a great way to get everyone on the same waka going in the right direction – so important when it comes to providing safe and tolerant workplaces.

Give us a ring at the Policy Place to discuss your policy needs and find out more about how we can assist.

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